Jennifer Folsom is the DC Metropolitan area Director of Momentum Resources, a boutique staffing firm specializing in placing professionals in flexible and reduced hours positions with smart organizations.
…is just one of the many valuable advices that Jennifer Folsom, the last HeelsConnect Workingwoman, provided.
If you read “what’s your brand,” a blog that encouraged readers to question how their image was being perceived, you know that YOU are a BRAND. How are you going to position your brand? Positioning is critical to the success of any brand. Think about Apple. It positioned itself as a colorfully creative alternative to the “dull” PCs (I stick to my Thinkpad because I’m that not-so-creative PC user, but I admire the aesthetic appeal of a Mac). Brilliant strategy. It worked beautifully.
Apple has an unmistakable brand identity among consumers. Do you? Does it matter? Only if you want to build a successful, lasting career. Otherwise, go ahead and post whatever your heart desires on Facebook and other social networking sites.
I’m not suggesting that having a professional social media presence can secure you a job or advance your career. Sorry, it’s not that simple. What I am adamantly stating is that by posting a status such as “I’m bored at work” or posting pictures of you getting plastered at a bar may not be the best way to market your brand. Let me rephrase. It can ruin your chances if seen by the wrong person. The “wrong person” doesn’t have to be a recruiter or human resources manager; it can be a friend - the same friend who may not want to stick her neck out for you when you need her to refer you to a company.
A friend recently mentioned that one of her Facebook contacts, an entrepreneur with his own company, posted that he hates dealing with clients. Hmmm, an entrepreneur who hates dealing with clients… Let me think. Do I want to be a client? Even if his service perfectly matches my needs, I don’t think I want to work with someone who is complaining about working with me. OK, maybe he was having a bad day. But that’s just it. He may very well have been, but he doesn’t have the luxury to take the statement back and say “Oh, I was just having a bad day.” It’s been posted in the public domain.
Listen up ladies. You may be thinking ‘My Facebook friends are only personal friends so I don’t care.’ This is shortsighted thinking. You should leverage...
q&a with jennifer folsom
by Julie Kang
Saturday, August 22, 2009 03:07 PM
If you read the last 2 blogs, you know that Jennifer Folsom, your next friend, is a very successful working mom. Jennifer took time out her hectic schedule to share some of her endless wisdom on various topics including work/life balance and networking.
Q. How did you manage to give birth and raise twins while you were in business school?
A. With the support of my husband (who, in pre-wireless days, hooked up a 50 ft DSL cable so that I could work while lying on my left side on bed rest), a few supportive professors (accepting video-taped presentations, independent studies, etc.), and my teammates (who moved group meetings to my house, always bringing food!).
Q. What advice do you have for women who want it all?
A. Sure, you can have it all, just not at the same time. And why would you want to? Enjoy storming the boardroom, cherish those moments with your newborn. To everything there is a season.
Q. What advice do you have for job seekers?
A. This is a tricky market, but there are jobs out there. Clean up your social media presence, think creatively about your positioning and leverage your network now (before you really need it). If you don't have an internal resource advocating for you, walking your resume through the process, you simply won't get hired in this crowded market. Use the Search function on LinkedIn to find someone in your network, or your network's network, who currently works or has worked at the organization to which you are applying.
Q. What is the most common mistake people make when networking?
A. Here's the big 3: having too much to drink at a networking event,...
a day in the life of jennifer folsom
by Julie Kang
Thursday, August 20, 2009 08:31 PM
Wonder how successful moms create work/life balance? Here is a perfect example!
5 am Alarm rings, 1 snooze allowed then I'm up and at 'em. I sneak downstairs to avoid waking up the boys (7,7 and 2), have a cup of joe from my pre-programmed coffee maker and catch up on late and overnight emails.
I creep out the front door to pick up the Washington Post and NY Times (we're single-handedly keeping newspapers in business) and wave hello to my neighbor John, who is, mysteriously, ALWAYS walking his dog as I pick up the papers. I start working, checking items off my to-do list using Google Tasks. I send out contracts and modifications to clients, run background checks on candidates and get non-business hours work accomplished. Double check the day's events with my husband Ben, hand him his lunch and a to-go cup of coffee and send him on his way. 7 am Shut the laptop for 90 minutes, wake up the twins, dress the toddler and cook breakfast. Pack up backpacks, walk the big boys to the bus stop and drop off Anderson at the babysitter's house, which is oh-so-conveniently located across the street from the bus stop. 9 am Get on the horn, dialing for dollars. I love the convenience of email and social media but there's just nothing like picking up the phone to get deals done. I follow up on client leads, thank referrals, and check in to see how our contractor and permanent placements are faring.
I love hearing the feedback from both the hiring manager and the Momentum candidate, which are typically overwhelmingly positive. I honestly don't know which is more gratifying: having a client say "thank you for finding us such a terrific, affordable resource" or "thank you so much for helping me find a job that gets me home before the kids get off the bus." 10:30 mid morning gym break. I'm a big fan of yoga but have slacked on my classes this summer as I prepare for the Army Ten Miler in October. I still don't consider myself a runner, but my best ideas come to me while pounding the pavement...or treadmill. Noon Meet a Partner for lunch. I'm a real believer in relationships. People do business with people, not other businesses, and without a relationship -especially in this market- your relationship is all you've got. I do about...
meet jennifer folsom, your next friend
by Julie Kang
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 09:49 PM
Before I was introduced to Jennifer Folsom by Ann Jones, Director of Alumni Affairs at Georgetown University, I thought I knew how to network. After all, I launched a networking website (the end product will be a place to connect on a whole different level than any other networking sites; wait until the business plan goes “live” to find out how), so naturally, I should know how to cultivate relationships. So I thought.
After the first time Jennifer and I spoke on the phone, I knew we would become instantly comfortable being in each others’ lives and helping one another. There were no hoops or barriers to overcome to reach a certain level of friendship. After just one conversation, she immediately made several email introductions to many fabulous women including Diane MacEachern, the last featured woman, and Lisa Rangel, an amazing career coach and a trusted advisor for the first HeelsConnect Career Makeover participants.
Ladies (and a few gents), Jennifer is a networking guru. Her picture should be next to the definition of “networking.” And I love how she describes it as BUILDING ALLIANCES. She is so right on (I really wanted to say “she is so money!” If you saw the movie Swingers you would get it). No matter what you’re doing, you want and need people who will be on YOUR side. In the video below, Jennifer provides a wealth of information on networking, from which I learned valuable tips. The next blog will be Jennifer’s “a day in the life” which I could not read fast enough. Trust me; you’ll be entertained.